Drug treatment for binge eating disorder

There are no psychiatric drug treatments for anorexia. Normalizing food is the most powerful drug there.

Bulimia does often respond to drugs, but parents rarely hear about that I'm afraid. I'm guilty there: I should talk about it more.

Now, we're seeing more help for Binge Eating Disorder through drug treatment. This is good.

BED is a devastating mental illness and although it is more common than anorexia or bulimia it still exists as an afterthought in the ED world. The Binge Eating Disorder Association is doing amazing work to change that, and have just announced their next conference.
What's your visual image of Binge Eating Disorder?
Well, mine isn't an image of a heavy person eating junk food
with the head cut off to hide her shame - sorry.

I look forward to the new DSM, which will take BED out of the ED-NOS category and list it with AN and BN. This is (slow) progress.

We activists must also adjust our thinking.

Here's an observation. SOME of the resistance to including BED in our thinking is fat phobia. It's sad to think that a community that is often fighting the symptom of pathological fear of larger bodies in patients may actually JOIN that fear. It is long past time for us to stop allowing that sort of thinking. If you care about eating disorders you are not going to have the comfort safety zone of excluding BED any more.

The science on BED is growing faster than that for other eating disorders, my friends. Guess why? Money. There's tremendous energy behind anything that can be sold as anti-obesity. Sad but true, as people of large body size do not all have BED and not all people with BED are of larger size. We are going to see science perverted and sold and funded because of misunderstandings about the nature of mental illness: sound familiar? Time to stop focusing on body size and see that we need to align together.


  1. We need much more research on all eating disorders, and I am happy for any piece of information that may help someone rid themselves or their child from the agonizing symptoms/thinking of an ED.

  2. My d has had AN for two years & I believe I had BED for the first 20-odd years of my life (with vestiges that remain today), fuelled but not caused by the self-disgust & shame that were seen as my due. I am grateful therefore that there may be a future in which obese individuals like myself are offered hope rather than revulsion. This should not, however, be a competition: surely all eds should be studied as linked conditions?


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